Health

These five unhealthy habits are killing you

We all have our dirty little secrets, and we certainly have our bad habits. From gnawing on our fingernails to being a sucker for a pretty face, our worst habits are often the toughest to break.

bad habit

Masterfile

We all have our dirty little secrets, and we certainly have our bad habits. From gnawing on our fingernails to being a sucker for a pretty face, our worst habits are often the toughest to break. But did you ever stop to think about just how bad your bad habits are? According to a recent story by Andre Picard in The Globe and Mail (Five unhealthy habits sending us to an early grave), we should be taking our habits to heart before they cut our lives short.

A recent report from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario claims that the top five bad habits can take seven and a half years off a life. And what are these habits?
1. Smoking
2. Excess alcohol consumption
3. Poor diet
4. Sedentary behaviour
5. Stressing out

Picard points out this is simply the average; when you look at the opposite ends of the spectrum the picture is much more stark. With ALL of those bad habits, life expectancy is 68.5 years for men and 71.5 years for women. But with NONE of those bad habits, life expectancy is 88.6 years for men and 92.5 years for women. That’s a 20-year difference! And, in particular, smoking, excess drinking and inactivity are major contributors to more than 50 diseases, including the cancer, heart disease, diabetes and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

So, though you’ve heard it before I’ll say it again: stop smoking, drink moderately, eat your veggies, get moving and learn to relax. You can still keep some of your bad habits – but try not to hold on too hard to the ones that can kill you.